Stroke and TIAs (Transient Ischaemic Attacks)


A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off or reduced. As a result, brain cells are deprived of the oxygen in the blood and this quickly causes them to become damaged or die. Strokes are a medical emergency so it is vital to call 999 if you suspect you or anyone else is having one, as prompt treatment can minimise the damage to the brain. A stroke affects different people in different ways but common long-term effects include difficulties with movement, speech and vision.

There are two main types of stroke- ischaemic strokes which are caused by a blockage in the blood supply to the brain and haemorrhagic strokes which are caused by bleeding in or around the brain. There is another type of stroke called a ‘mini’ stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) which is similar to an ischaemic or haemorrhagic stroke but the symptoms last only a few minutes or hours and disappear completely within 24 hours. However it is important not to ignore these symptoms, as it may be a warning sign that a more serious stroke may occur. In Scotland around 13,000 people have a stroke every year and they usually occur in people aged 65 and over. Strokes are the leading cause of disability and the third most common cause of death in the UK.

Your Age Scotland

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Silver Line Scotland:
0800 4 70 80 90

Useful links

  • Strokes4carers is an e-learning resource which offers advice, support and information for informal carers of people who are living with a stroke.


    The Health A-Z section of this website contains information of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of many types of illnesses.  It also includes video interviews with specialists and patients.  NHS inform is a new national health information service providing a single source of quality assured health information for the public in Scotland.
  • NHS Inform
  • SHOW (Scotland's Health on the Web) provides information on more than 100 topics covering all aspects of healthy living and advice on coping with long-term health conditions as well as the NHS and health services.



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